The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Enforcement department is a part of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. The enforcement effort reflects a fundamental right of tribal sovereignty by allowing the Yakama, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Nez Perce tribes to enforce tribal laws rather than be subject to state enforcement.
CRITFC Enforcement is based in Hood River, Oregon. The enforcement team consists of patrol officers, dispatchers, and administrative personnel. They maintain a 24-hour effort to enforce all fishing regulations and protect treaty tribal fishing rights in the 147-mile stretch of the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam.
CRITFC Enforcement officers’ duties are similar to those of other conservation officers. They inspect catch, gear, identifications, and sites. This can range from a simple visit to a full investigation using high-tech surveillance equipment. Officers also provide assistance to Indian fishers during times of need, protect archeological sites, protect tribal fishing sites from encroachment by non-Indian members who come to use or even vandalize sites, and police the 31 tribal fishing access sites along Zone 6 of the Columbia River.
All CRITFC officers are Oregon-certified and serve as an extension of tribal law enforcement.
All the officers have extensive police training. The officers hold full or limited commissions from all four CRITFC member tribes, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the states of Oregon and Washington, and Klickitat, Skamania, Wasco, Hood River, Umatilla, Sherman, and Gilliam counties.